Bell to Bell: Back in the Saddle
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Thoughts From Raw:
- Let’s kick it off by talking about about announcers for a little bit. After last week, I can only assume the Michael Cole heel character is a thing of the past, or is at least being temporarily shelved. That’s the right call for obvious reasons. Cole was the epitome of professionalism last week during one of the worst scenarios imaginable. I get the feeling fans will never look at him the same way again.
- What I always liked about John Bradshaw Layfield (who appears to have lost some weight) being on the headset is that he usually knew how to make the talent in the ring look good. He could make you see them from a different light, which would often cause you to become more invested in them. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him back more often. I loved his description of Brodus Clay as a “Justin Timberlake-trained sea monster.” Hilarious.
- The only downside to having Jim Ross back at the announce position is that it’s a reminder of how much we miss hearing him on a weekly basis.
- This CM Punk/Paul Heyman partnership is interesting to me. Heyman isn’t a mouthpiece for Punk the way he’s been for other wrestlers, most notably Brock Lesnar. Instead, they’re portrayed more like chummy business partners. It’s a unique dynamic that I’m curious to see progress, especially once Lesnar gets back in the mix.
- Obviously we’re gearing up for a CM Punk/John Cena cage match at Hell in a Cell. I think that’s a fantastic main event. I’m hoping against history that WWE will make it the only cell match on the card. I said this last year, and I’ll say it again: Having more than one Hell in a Cell match on the same night is overkill. It ruins the novelty of it all. Plus, no one is going to outdo Punk and Cena right now. Certainly not Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio, assuming that’s what they’d be booking for the second cell match. Punk and Cena have the only rivalry worthy of the cell right now. Two wrestlers shouldn’t simply be thrown in the cage for the sake of having another cage match.
- So R-Truth has a little cartoon boy’s face painted on the butt of his wrestling gear? That’s creepy in more ways than one. His pants kind of look like a jar of Play Doh now.
- I think the Miz is a great performer to give a talk show segment to. If you need proof, just watch his monologue from tonight’s show. But if we’re going to do this, let’s take full advantage of Raw‘s new three-hour format. Make “Miz TV” a weekly segment on the show, and put it at roughly the same time every week so it becomes part of the show’s regular rhythm. Let him talk not only to his rivals, but to other wrestlers about their own storylines for potential crossover matches. For instance, they can easily use it to give Daniel Bryan, Kane and Dr. Shelby a chance to talk to each other in the ring. If it doesn’t work, they can simply drop it and use the segment when it’s called for. But it’s certainly worth a try. If Miz really tries to run with this, he can make it a big part of his growing legacy.
- Remember when I said I wanted to see a Tensai vs. Brodus Clay feud? I maintain that it it might have been interesting before Tensai’s career became so stagnant, and when Clay was still undefeated. But after seeing them go at it briefly in that battle royal before Night of Champions…well, I think the matches might have needed to be kept short and sweet.
- More blatant, nearly unfiltered commercialism with Jared the Subway guy on Raw. At least it was mildly entertaining. I actually met Jared once. He’s taller than he looks on TV. He’s more hairy, too.
- Some really good wrestling on this episode, specifically the Randy Orton/Tensai, Damian Sandow/Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler/Santino Marella matches. Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel also had a really solid outing. The three-hour run time may have its drawbacks, but it has most certainly offered the wrestlers more breathing room in terms of their matches, which has given them more time to tell stories. I suppose I never realized how rushed things were before…
- Speaking of Santino, in a recent issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated one of the writers tore into his wrestling repertoire, calling it sloppy and limited. That’s categorically untrue as far as I’m concerned. Santino knows his stuff, can run with the best of them, and can be downright smooth at times. If anything, it’s the character he has that limits his repertoire, not the man himself.
All images courtesy of WWE.com.